Friday, January 20, 2017

How Did Russell Westbrook Get Screwed Out Of A Starting Spot In The All-Star Game?

            How does a player who's threatening to become the first player since Oscar Robertson in 1961-62 to average a triple-double in a season get left off the starting line-up for the Western All-Stars? That is the dilemma that Russell Westbrook is facing after getting rejected from the starting line-up in the 2017 All-Star Game.
            The Oklahoma City point guard's stat line for the 2016-2017 season consists of this: 30.6 PPG, 10.6 RPG, and 10.4 APG. That's a stat line that deserves recognition for the NBA MVP, especially since he's the only superstar on a Thunder team that just lost Kevin Durant over the summer. Ironically enough, Durant is a starter for the Western Conference whereas Westbrook will be riding the pine to start.
            There's no doubt that Westbrook will get in the All-Star Game; averaging a triple-double in a season is a hard feat to accomplish. However, how did Westbrook not get in the starting line-up with the season he's having? Stephen Curry is a popular choice and a recognizable face among NBA fans. However, he's not having the type of season Westbrook's having; 24.6 PPG, 4.2 RPG, and 6.1 APG aren't great numbers compared to Westbrook's. In fact, you can say that none of the Western Conference starters have the stat lines that Westbrook has this season. Just take a look at what the Western Conference All-Stars are averaging this season:

  • Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs: 25.1 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 3.1 APG
  • Curry: 24.6 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 6.1 APG
  • Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors: 26.2 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 4.7 APG
  • James Harden, Houston Rockets: 28.9 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 11.6 APG
  • Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans: 28.8 PPG, 12.1 RPG, 2.2 APG
            James Harden is the closest guy you have who can touch Russell Westbrook's triple-double average this season. The rest of the starters don't really come close. 
            Does the fan vote issue reinforce the idea that fans can't make sound decisions regarding the NBA All-Star Game? Adam Silver and the NBA tried to remedy the situation by appointing players and the media to chip in to the voting process with 25% each having an influence. However, it backfired immensely, leaving Westbrook out of the All-Star starting line-up.
            By the way, let this sink in if you need another reason for Westbrook to be a starter for the Western Conference. 

Photo Courtesy of NutsAndBoltsSports

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